Gordon Edward Greenwood's Family Album

Philip Greenwood, Revolutionary War Patriot
My 3rd great-grandfather

Philip Greenwood grave in Dutch Bethel Cemetery, Arney,  Owen Co.,  Indiana

Dutch Bethel Cemetery, Arney, Owen County, Indiana

The German-American Philip Greenwood was born in Frederick County, Maryland, on November 28, 1755, youngest of the three sons of  Philip and Catharine Greenwood.  He was only twenty-five years old when his father, Philip, a country blacksmith, died in 1780.

At this young age, the younger Philip inherited land from his father "provided he pay his three sisters, Anna Maria, Susannah, and Barbara, equal shares of 250 pounds common money." A fourth sister, Margaret, was already married to Frederick George Schneider, and was provided for separately. Philip inherited  ninety-two acres called Poplar Spring, and thirty acres named Greenwood's Fancy.  His brother, Yost, whose was later called Joseph, received  300 acres of a tract called The Deeps. Philip received the remainder of The Deeps. Philip also inherited his father's bay mare, a yearling colt and saddle, and a plantation wagon.  He  received half of his father's blacksmith tools, with brother Yost inheriting the remainder. My grandfather, Joseph Newton Greenwood (1871-1950), was also a blacksmith, carrying on the family tradition. Priscilla wonders if some of those old tools made their way into the twentieth century.  It seems unlikely, but you never know...

We aren't sure when Philip married his first wife, Mary, but we do know that they had a daughter named Catherine on July 2, 1782, and that they were living in Berkeley County, Virginia (now West Virginia) at that time. In 1999, we visited the Evangelical Reformed Church, 15 West Church Street, in Frederick, Maryland. They generously allowed us to search through the original record books and there, in beautiful script, was a record of Catherine's baptism on October 15, 1782. That is the only reference to Catherine that we have found to date.

That same day,  land records show that Mary released her right of dower when Philip Greenwood, by then twenty-seven years old, sold all the land he inherited two years earlier. The purchaser was  his brother-in-law, Jacob Hull, husband of Philip's sister, Barbara Greenwood. Jacob paid 300 pounds confederation money. On the deed, Philip referred to himself as a farmer from Berkeley County, Virginia.

Philip  had already served under the command of General George Washington from June, 1776, until February, 1777.  In September, 1777, Philip was a draftee in the Maryland Militia and fought in the ill-fated Battle of Germantown, outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,  on October 4, 1777.  Washington hoped to surround and capture the greater part of the British encampment north of Philadelphia, but the American soldiers were caught in thick fog and smoke and unfortunately ended up firing on each other.

The killed and wounded British soldiers numbered 550 men; the Americans numbered 673. One of them was my ancestor, Philip. After being slightly wounded by a grape shot grazing his head, he was discharged about November, 1777. (Read more about the Battle of Germantown.)

After the Revolutionary War, Philip lived in Berkeley County, Virginia (now West Virginia). Then around 1785 he moved to what is now the state of Kentucky.  From December 31, 1776, to November 1, 1780, the area where Philip lived was still Kentucky County, Virginia. In November, 1780, Kentucky County was divided into Jefferson County,  Fayette County, and  Lincoln County. In 1792 Kentucky was admitted to the Union as the 15th state.

We assume that Mary Greenwood died before 1788, because that is the year that Philip's second wife, Sarah, said she and Philip were married west of the mountains in Pennsylvania in the fall. This recollection appeared in Sarah's affidavit of December, 1843, when she made an unsuccessful attempt for a widow's pension.

Philip and Sarah had one known son named Joseph Philip, who was my 2nd-great-grandfather. He was born in Kentucky in 1798.  It's possible he had two sisters, but this has not been documented. On the 1810 Kentucky census, a Philip Greenwood appears with a male aged 10 to 16, presumably Joseph Philip Greenwood. The household included three females, one under 10, one between 10 and 16 years-old, and one over 45, which could be his wife, Sarah, who was 46 at the time.

The Dutch Bethel Church of Christ, commonly called "Old Dutch" or "Bethel" is the second oldest church of the Restoration Movement in Owen County. At the first state convention in 1839, it reported having 200 members. From it have sprung, directly the Bethsaida and Antioch churches, as well as members responsible for organizing the Patricksburg church, and supplying the life of other congregations in the county. Groups of its members also migrated to Iowa and organized three churches there. The church was organized in 1825. Abraham Kern from Lawrence County visited the scattered settlers near Middletown (now Arney) and, at a meeting held in Henry Arney, Sr.'s home, Obadiah Winters and John Arney were chosen as elders and Charles Inman and Andrew Arney as Deacons. The congregation continued to prosper although their building burned 3 times. In 1935 they built the clay block building that is still in use today. Old Dutch Bethel was a strong pioneer church. Today the congregation is small and has one part-time preacher.

Coal City, Indiana Then and Now at http://www.infomine.com/publications/docs/Weatherwax2007.pdf

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